Burnt but not broken
It's great to see the community pull together to help out residents affected by last week's fire so let's keep that going with an organising committee, some lobbying and a calendar of fundraising activities to keep Tathra in the news for the right reasons.
How about an open air benefit concert held on the veranda of the Tathra Hotel, with food vans in the headland car park, someone ring that bloke from River Cottage! Come on 2EC and Frankie J, you must have some contacts in the Australian music industry that have trodden the sticky carpets of the old Tathra Hotel that would give their time, or how about we lobby JJJ to run their “One night stand” concert from the Bega Showground.
Let’s encourage some of the town's famous sons and daughters to return home and front celebrity barefoot bowls or a golf pro-am, or maybe the Kai Otton invitational surf classic, or re-run the Wharf to Waves.
Let’s lobby Darrel Lea or Lindt chocolate for a monster Easter egg hunt for the local school kids, or how about the Tathra long table dining event to showcase local producers sponsored by Bega Cheese and the Bega Valley Shire Council – someone put a call out to Maggie Beer, Stephanie Alexander or Manu. Maybe an open air cinema on Tathra beach or the bowling club. And finally, let’s get an online Tathra community noticeboard to capture some of those offers of assistance and updates as we rebuild.
Grahame Alderton, Sydney/Tathra
Appointed by all
Bega Valley is fortunate to have a master event emcee of the calibre of Ian Campbell. He is ubiquitous, compering at the Tathra Warf to Waves, the Bega swimming carnival, George Bass, Bega Agricultural Show, Bega Show Jumping Cup to name a recent few.
He did it again at the Bushfire Recovery Centre, easing the way for information from the experts. Columnist Ben Smyth's derogatory reference to Ian Campbell as 'a media-savvy self-appointed emcee' was way off the mark. He was appointed by us all. Thank you Ian Campbell.
Graham Walker, Tathra
Editor’s note: Thanks for your feedback Graham. I feel ill that my reference was taken as anything other than complimentary. On a chaotic, emotional night where everyone jumped in to help as best they could, Ian did what he does best by picking up the microphone, as I know many have appreciated. I have spoken about this with Ian and will more carefully choose my words in future.
Stop and think
How would the residents living on the eastern side of Bega bypass have fared if a fire had broken out in the RMS lovegrass plantation which harbours almost every noxious weed existing, along with dead trees from plantings said to save carbon footprint?
Power lines under ground will not stop fires from lightning strikes, even a dry storm can start a fire. Nothing beats having nothing to burn, hazard reduction will reduce fire intensity. People need to stop and think before they plant trees to save the planet. Do not plant in the middle of a river or plant directly under power lines, and choose carefully. People seem so hellbent that everything has to be native. Eucalyptus and tea tree oil burns, and not much burns as well as wattle. Ask for species that are less combustible, reduce fire fuel.
Ralph Hetherington, Bega
Hold it together
California’s recent bushfires followed by heavy rain and mudslides demonstrate how fragile top soil becomes without plants to hold it together. Those on steep slopes especially will help stabilise their property by taking basic steps during their clean-up.
Lay large logs and branches across the slope to retain soil runoff, plant fire resistant lomandra grasses that grow dense fibrous roots quickly. Dianella would do the same and provides food and shelter for wildlife.